6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/06/2010
Posts: 1
Advice needed for DIY elk hunt for Dad & I

It has been a dream of my dad's to go on an elk hunt...it is now something that is becoming a dream of mine...

Dad is 62 and has almost given up and disqualified himself from being able to hike the mountains and endure the rough terrain where the elk live...

I am starting to look for a hunt that Dad and I could do diy for the 2011 season...I don't think we could pull something off this soon for the 2010 season...that is why i am looking for 2011...

Could you recommend a place w/ terrain that would suit a hunt for dad...he is in extremely good shape for a man 62 years old...but i don't think he could handle a 3 mile hike back into the extreme back country...

I would like to do an archery hunt (dad has to use a crossbow because of a bad shoulder...) if crossbows aren't allowed....black powder would be our next choice..

I appreciate any advice that you could give us to help us get started and Help my dad realize a dream...


exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
you should probably do a rifle hunt

Welcome to BGH, Colorado certainly has a lot of options for you, but not with a crossbow.  And a muzzleloader tag will take several years of applying to get a bull tag.  Rifle tags for good areas are a lot easier to come by for nonresidents.  However, most of the good areas are also wilderness heavy, and not a good option for you. 

There area a handful of areas that you won't have to kill yourself to hunt in here in Colorado.  Wyoming has some easier terrain elk hunts, but those can be difficult to draw too.  However, they also sell preference ponts from now through September.  So you can purchase one now.  The Red Desert and Thunder Basin Grasslands hunts immediately come to mind as easy terrain elk hunts in Wyoming.  Of course you won't have enough points for those, but at least Wyoming gives you a chance in the random draw.

For Colorado, look at the some of the more plateau/canyon/mesa units on the West Slope.  Many of them are OTC in 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons.  If you have an ATV, the Grand Mesa units are an option and there's basically no wilderness, yet plenty of elk.  This year the bull tags in 1st season are available as leftovers if you want them (Units 41,42,411,421,52,521).  Units 71 and 62 also have large plateaus and are OTC in 2nd and 3rd season.  The Bears Ears and Flat Tops also have some areas that aren't too difficult, and the pressure in the Bears Ears(Units 4 an 441) is really falling off now that tags have become a little tougher to get in 1st season.  There's some steep country there, but also plenty of moderately easy walking.

Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
Advice needed for DIY elk hunt for Dad & I

Welcome aboard to the site.

I'm not the mountain goat I used to be either, and spend less time in deep canyons than I used to, so understand about your dad. That said, I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities that don't require deep canyons or miles of walking. There are here in AZ for sure, and I'm rarely all that far from a dirt road or my truck, and have plenty of spots I go that are flat with small meadows between canyons, saddle areas, etc. for easier walking/access. Elk are often in these areas to feed in the mornings and late afternoons primarily, but have seen cows most any time of day. Tags can be hard to come by here though, and especially for a non-resident I would guess depending on what you apply for and type of weapon.

Good luck.

Location: Maryland
Joined: 08/06/2009
Posts: 10
Your Dreamhunt

I understand your situation with your dad.  I have dealt with that same situation with a few guys that have hunted with me before.  Have you considered horses?  I am pretty sure they are allowed in the wilderness areas and blm lands.  I have never used them myself but have thought about using them in the future.  If this is a once in a lifetime thing for you and your dad you might want to consider horses.  You could pick a decent unit and either pack in and stay on the mountain or you could ride your horses up everyday.  This is a great site and if you decide on a unit I am sure there is someone on here that could help you find someone to rent a horse from in that unit.  Best of luck to you and your dad!


Be Deadly!

Location: West Virginia
Joined: 08/10/2010
Posts: 41
NW Colorado Migration Hunt

Hi Seth.

I admire and appreciate that you are planning a trip for your dad, you deserve a lot of credit for doing that.

You can hunt with muzzleloaders during the rifle season in Colorado, so one option you might consider is doing a third or fourth season hunt around Craig, Colorado.  This hunt occurs during the migration as the elk head out of the Black Mountain area and are heading for the wintering grounds.

It is big, open country that might be considered "rifle" country.  But on a DIY hunt I did in 2005 we went four for five on shot opportunity.  Every bull shot or passed was less than 200 yards and all but one were within 150 - so a scoped muzzleloader would have been plenty sufficient.  Our trip was during the second season before the migration began in earnest.

This hunt is DIY, but is a lease hunt.  I used Rocky Mountain Ranches (http://www.rockymountainhunting.com/index.html) and was very pleased with the service they provided.  This hunt will likely be cold...like freeze your ears off cold.  But you can choose to stay in Craig in a nice warm motel room, with a nice warm shower and go to sleep in a nice warm bed with a belly full of warm food.

RMR will also allow you to camp on most of their properties and will even provide a camp for a few extra bucks.  Lease hunts cost a bit more than a public land DIY hunt...but you get many thousands of acres of private land to yourself.

You can buy a tag over the counter for this hunt, and you can even work with RMR for harder to get tags as they participate in Ranching for Wildlife and have landowner tags availble to ensure you get your tag - making a 2011 hunt no problem.

Goog luck planning your hunt, post the pictures when you get back!

Location: Neveda
Joined: 07/22/2008
Posts: 234
Seth: Welcome to the


Welcome to the board:

If you want to bow and cross bow look into Wyoming, I would suggest the Snowy range outside of Laramie Wy.


If you would like the Muzzle loader, then New Mexico would be a very good choice, they have units that are ML only.


If you want some more information about these areas sent me a PM




WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Its never too late.

It's never to late to start elk hunting as long as you can meet the physical demands of it.  Sounds to me like you guys haven't elk hunted before.  So my advise would be to consider how you are planning on getting the animal out of the woods before you even consider where and how to get an elk.  Elk are large animals and often require help to pack out.  That's typically why elk hunters go in groups of two or more to a party.  You'll also have to gear up for an elk hunt.  Elk hunting like other types of biggame requires a bit of equipment and gear for camping, processing, and getting to a location.  Gear up on good camping gear. A good tent , good sleeping bags, cot or sleeping pad, and cooking gear are a must for elk camp.  You'll want at least 4 days in the wilderness at the minimum to make it worth your while. 


Another thing to consider - I often see novice elk hunters make the mistake of heading up into the high country without having the proper vehicle to accomodate them on their elk hunt.  Choose your vehicle carefully.  Maybe you already have a vehicle that will serve you well on an elk hunt, but let me just say that there's a good reason why elk hunters own large 4x4 pickup trucks with powerful gasoline or diesel engines like the Ford F-series, Dodge Rams, Chevy Silverados, or Toyota Tundras and you'll want a good set of off-road tires on your vehicle too. Such a vehicle will be nsessesary to get you and your gear into an area and pack your animal and gear out of an area.  Good luck.

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